The hall boy or hallboy was the lowest ranked male domestic worker on the staff of a great house. Usually a boy or young teenager, his name derived from the fact that his main duties were in the servants' hall, where he may also have slept.
Like his female counterpart, the scullery maid, the hall boy would have been expected to work up to 16 hours per day, seven days per week. His duties were often among the most disagreeable in the house, such as emptying chamber pots for the higher-ranking servants, and (in the absence of a boot boy) cleaning the boots.
A hall boy could rise through the ranks and, if fortunate, eventually become a valet or butler. Arthur Inch, butler technical consultant for the film Gosford Park, stated in an interview that he began his life in service as a hall boy at the age of 15.
References[change | change source]
- Rogers, Patricia Dane (30 November 2003). "The butler did it--but how?". Chicago Tribune. The Washington Post. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-11-30/features/0311300514_1_napkins-tables-dinner. Retrieved 16 July 2013.